NL: Semi-transparent PV panel in greenhouse roof not equally successful for all crops

Staff
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The use of semi-transparent PV panels in the greenhouse roof contributes to the electrification of the energy supply. A quick scan shows that the use of PV panels, based on the current state of PV technology and the expected developments in the medium term, has different effects on yields, depending on the crop, Pieter Vlaar of Vertify at the Kas als Energiebron (Greenhouse as energy source) programm.

Lower yields per kilogram
The use of semi-transparent PV panels in cucumber cultivation results in significantly lower yields per kilogram. This is mainly due to the reduced availability of sunlight, which is not sufficiently compensated by the extra energy yields. As a result, the negative financial balance cannot be corrected, making investments in the PV solar system unprofitable.

Positive financial results
When growing anthurium and gerbera, semi-transparent PV panels lead to positive financial results, mainly thanks to the extra energy yields. However, these positive balances are not expected to be sufficient to recoup the investments in the PV system within an economically reasonable period, taking into account realistic energy prices and investment costs.

It seems that semi-transparent PV panels, especially those based on silicon technology with encapsulation technology in a checkerboard pattern, will only be economically attractive for a limited number of crops under glass. This applies in particular to crops where a decrease in the light transmittance of the greenhouse roof does not lead to proportionate reductions in biomass yields.

This research, conducted by Vertify, TNO and WUR, was funded by Kennis in je Kas.

Source: Kas als Energiebron

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